by Staff Sgt. John E. Hillier
Air National Guard Readiness Center Public Affairs
9/21/2015 - JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- The
director of the Air National Guard spoke about several issues currently
faced by the Air Reserve Components during the Total Force panel at the
Air Force Association's 2015 Air and Space Conference and Technology
Exposition, held in National Harbor, Maryland, Sept. 14-16.
Lt. Gen. Stanley E. Clarke III, ANG director, addressed topics ranging
from civilian employer support, retention, integrated bases, working
with civilian employers, and increased interoperability across the total
Clarke addressed the change in the reserve components' role in the
warfight from a strategic to an operational one, noting that "how we use
people became different, but the way we apply administrative rules to
them is still trying to catch up. But we have to be careful not to break
The Panel also featured Chief of Air Force Reserve Lt. Gen. James F.
Jackson, Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Plans and Requirements Lt.
Gen. James M. Holmes, and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the
Air Force Manpower and Reserve Affairs Daniel R. Sitterly.
Despite the heavy tasking Guard members face, not just during
deployments, but in service to the homeland and state missions, both
employers and the public have their backs, said Clarke.
"We're doing so much at home for the Air Force, for the states, for our
citizens, in addition to all of our deployment and readiness training,"
said Clarke. "Things like airborne firefighting, search and rescue,
[Joint Terminal Attack Controller] training, and joint air drop
requirements - none of that is deployment. All that being said, our
Airmen are still coming to drill, they're still part of the Guard, and
they're still staying in with a retention rate of ninety-something
percent. And I couldn't be more proud of them."
Holmes discussed pathways for increasing cooperation among the regular Air Force and the reserve components.
"I think the way forward is to swap leaders," said Holmes. "We've grown
people who can serve as leaders in each other's organizations, in the
senior NCO level and in the officer level, and I think our path is
making sure we continue to develop leaders who understand all the
Clarke also stressed efforts the reserve components are making to adapt to missions transferred from regular Air Force units.
"There is some movement actually that is occurring," he said. "It's not
large pieces because, in almost every single analysis, what's revealed
is that whether it's Reserve, Guard, or regular Air Force, we don't have
enough to do some of the missions out there now."
He also discussed efforts to increase cooperation with commercial
airlines in attracting new pilots, and helping current members keep
flying in both their Guard and civilian careers.
"As the economy continues to improve, there's going to be a greater
demand [for pilots] as we see it," Clarke said. "We hosted nine of the
major airlines' chief pilots about a month ago to discuss some of these
issues and how in the future we might share some of [our people]. All
nine of them said 'we want that. We want to share assets and not have to
pull people out of the uniform.'"